On Wednesday, October 7th, thirteen men were arrested and charged by the FBI with plotting to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The FBI, along with the Michigan State Police, blocked the attempted kidnapping on Wednesday and arrested the conspirators, and charged them under federal kidnapping laws and a variety of Michigan gun, gang, and terrorism statutes. Law enforcement has been investigating the men for months and intervened after four members arranged to buy explosives from an undercover agent for $4,000.

The FBI released the criminal complaint which stated that six men had been seen near the governor’s home, monitoring it, in an alleged attempt to kidnap her. Additionally, seven others in the militia group were arrested and charged with state terrorism.

Gov. Whitmer responded to the plot against her in a live conference stating that hate groups have taken Trump’s reluctance to condemn extremists as a call to action, “When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit.”

Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Barry Croft, Daniel Harris, Kaleb Franks, and Brandon Caserta, six of the men arrested, have been allegedly planning to kidnap the governor from her vacation home for multiple months, since early 2020. The men had many meetings in the basement of a store and were communicating through social media. 

During one of the meetings, an undercover officer captured audio of the men discussing their plans to attack the State Capitol and destroy police vehicles with explosives and Molotov cocktails. 

The FBI continued to follow the militia group for two months until the group came together on Wednesday to buy explosives. The FBI was at the scene, ready to arrest the men upon their arrival. 

The men face life long sentences if convicted. 

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